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Find more Booklist Editors' Choice
Committed to providing a broad selection of outstanding books that mixes popular appeal with literary excellence, the Books for Youth editorial staff has chosen the titles below as best-of-the-year nonfiction and fiction books and picture books.
A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human. By Kay Frydenborg. HMH, $18.99 (9780544286566). Gr. 8–12.
This narrative blend of history and science showcases the coevolution of dogs and humans. From the Paleolithic Era on, it examines the partnering of canines and humans and the ways in which dogs may have saved ancestors of the modern human from extinction. Inviting, high interest, and impeccably researched.
Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism. By Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos. Holt, $22.99 (9780805098358). Gr. 7–12.
This fascinating look at the evolution of photojournalism during WWII gets behind the lens with photographers Robert Capa and Gerda Taro. Historical and political context are seamlessly integrated into their story, along with copious reproductions of their powerful photos.
Faith and Fury: The Temple Mount and the Noble Sanctuary—The Story of Jerusalem’s Most Sacred Space. By Ilene Cooper. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (9781596435308). Gr. 7–10.
Cooper’s timely, sorely needed history of the most fought-over site in the world is a hugely impressive feat, stretching from 1010 BCE to the present day. Sifting fable from fact, she presents an exhaustive time line of a place that is both holy and incredibly violent.
Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today. By Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson. Peachtree, $19.95 (9781561459452). Gr. 7–10.
There’s dismay about the way civics have taken a backseat in classrooms, but this smartly conceived book reintroduces important topics, including bicameralism, presidential vetoes, gerrymandering, term limits, and voting rights. Each chapter begins with a news event or court case and provides context and then pivots to the Framers’ thinking on the subject.
Spinning. By Tillie Walden. Illus. by the author. First Second, $17.99 (9781626729407). Gr. 8–11.
In delicate, evocative artwork, rendered exclusively in purple with yellow highlights, Walden traces her childhood spent in the competitive figure-skating world, the backdrop for a deeper story about her coming-out and coming-of-age. A stirring, gorgeously illustrated story of finding the strength to follow one’s own path.
Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961. By Larry Dane Brimner. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $17.95 (9781629795867). Gr. 6–9.
In 1961, 13 Freedom Riders board buses in Washington, D.C., and head south to challenge illegal Jim Crow practices. Illustrated with archival photos, this informative book presents a tightly focused, present-tense account of what happened, day by day. A clear presentation of dramatic, historically significant events.
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team. By Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (9781596439542). Gr. 6–9.
This biography of sports phenomenon Thorpe details his time at Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School under famous coach Pop Warner. Though never a good student, Thorpe became “the best athlete on the planet.” This is a model of research and documentation as well as of stylish narrative writing.
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers. By Deborah Heiligman. Holt, $19.99 (9780805093391). Gr. 9–12.
Plumbing letters and other primary sources, Heiligman paints a vivid, captivating portrait of Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo, zeroing in on their sometimes-turbulent relationship and Vincent’s tremendous artistic growth. An artful account of a fascinating pair of brothers.
Grand Canyon. By Jason Chin. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $19.99 (9781596439504). Gr. 2–5.
Chin’s virtual hiking tour follows a father and daughter from the North Rim to the South Rim, with stunning illustrations offering a visual catalog of plants and animals. Chin’s lucid text seamlessly integrates concepts in engaging paragraphs full of surprising information, all of which is beautifully complemented by the illustrations. (Top of the List winner—Youth Nonfiction.)
How to Be an Elephant. By Katherine Roy. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/David Macaulay, $18.99 (9781626721784). Gr. 1–4.
Stylized watercolors and scientific diagrams mingle on the page as Roy reveals a baby African elephant’s journey to adulthood through a series of “lessons,” from first steps to cooling mud baths to charge attacks (look out, birds!).
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups. By Chris Harris. Illus. by Lane Smith. Little, Brown, $19.99 (9780316266574). Gr. 2–5.
In this magnificent romp through verse (rhymed and unrhymed, whispered and shouted, upside down and sometimes invisible), television producer Harris and two-time Caldecott honoree Smith evoke childlike wonder with paeans to dragons, trick riddles, and raucous lullabies. A moving, madcap anthem to language sure to stand the test of time.
Lesser Spotted Animals: The Coolest Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of. By Martin Brown. Illus. by the author. David Fickling, $18.99 (9781338089349). Gr. 2–5.
This witty, playful compendium spotlights unsung animal heroes, from the southern right whale dolphin to the banded linsang. With a compulsively engaging tone, lighthearted artwork, and a meaningful kernel of education at its heart, Brown’s excellent book will entrance a wide variety of readers.
Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands. By Susan Goldman Rubin. Chronicle, $17.99 (9781452108377). Gr. 4–7.
Rubin’s thorough examination of this modern architect extends far past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial for which she is best known. Less familiar projects and the challenges Lin faced in the architecture world as a young Asian woman are given equal page time in this finely designed and endlessly compelling biography.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. By Kwame Alexander and others. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763680947). Gr. 4–7.
“A poem is a small but powerful thing,” writes Alexander. So is this beautiful book. Along with his coauthors, Alexander offers 20 poems in tribute to such well-known poets as Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Illustrated with glorious collage that tells further stories within the story.
Real Friends. By Shannon Hale. Illus. by LeUyen Pham. First Second, $12.99 (9781626727854). Gr. 3–6.
Hale’s winsome memoir, with bold, dynamic artwork from Pham, traces her childhood friendships and all the shifting loyalties, petty jealousies, and tiny moments of short-lived triumph that characterized them. A wistful, charming look at the realities of friendship that will resonate with a wide range of readers.
Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees. By Mary Beth Leatherdale. Illus. by Eleanor Shakespeare. Annick, $24.95 (9781554518968). Gr. 4–7.
Leatherdale and Shakespeare’s gut-punch of a volume follows five refugees, with snippets of interviews, historical context, and photos of each teenage subject included on collage spreads. Together, words and images offer an affecting perspective on the plight of refugees and emphasizes that this human-rights crisis is an urgent issue.
Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive! By Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson. Illus. by Lisa K. Weber. HarperCollins/Walden Pond, $17.99 (9780062418791). Gr. 4–7.
The authors mix two facts about an aspect of the natural world (plants, animals, and even humans) with one untruth, and they invite readers to pick out the bogus entry. Which is fake: human head transplants, fecal transplantation, or pee-powered fuel cells? A brief but savvy guide to responsible research methods.
Before She Was Harriet. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illus. by James E. Ransome. Holiday, $17.95 (9780823420476). K–Gr. 3.
Harriet Tubman’s multifaceted accomplishments come to life through poetic writing, vivid watercolor images, and the unifying framework of a railway journey. Moving backward through time, the presentation explores her many names and roles while briefly portraying Tubman at different stages of her life. An enlightening, inspiring picture book. (Top of the List winner—Picture Book.)
Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water around the Earth. By Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Illus. by Molly Bang. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $18.99 (9780545805414). K–Gr. 3.
The sun serves as an amiable narrator, explaining how its energy moves water around our planet, enabling its web of life. Noting that people can upset Earth’s natural balance, it asks readers to keep water clean and use it sparingly. A beautifully illustrated and richly informative picture book.
Robins! How They Grow Up. By Eileen Christelow. Illus. by the author. Clarion, $16.99 (9780544442894). Gr. 1–3.
Narrated by two “teenage” robin brothers just a few months old, this informative volume offers an intimate view of their family’s story. The forthright, informal text and breezy illustrations offer a bird’s-eye view of their world. Fresh and inviting, here’s the go-to book for children curious about robins.
This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World. By Matt Lamothe. Illus. by the author. Chronicle, $17.99 (9781452150185). K–Gr. 3.
Meet Romeo, Kei, Daphine, Oleg, Ananya, Kian, and Ribaldo. Lamothe collaborated with seven real children living in Italy, Japan, Uganda, Russia, India, Iran, and Peru, and he records their everyday experiences in detailed, painterly illustrations and succinct, descriptive text. Refreshingly unromanticized, the book reveals intriguing similarities and differences in their lives.
The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid. By Jeanette Winter. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $17.99 (9781481446693). K–Gr. 3.
Iranian architect Zaha Hadid is the subject of this fantastically crafted picture-book biography. Her organic designs merge on the page with the nature scene that inspired them, and readers will be mesmerized by Zaha’s tenacity and unconventional ideas.
Akata Warrior. By Nnedi Okorafor. Viking, $18.99 (9780670785612). Gr. 7–10.
This sequel to Akata Witch (2011) finds Sunny plagued by strange dreams, after which she endeavors to increase her magical powers by studying with her demanding mentor. The lush world and high-stakes plot are fun, imaginative, timely, and authentic, adding to the magic of the story.
All the Wind in the World. By Samantha Mabry. Algonquin, $17.95 (9781616206666). Gr. 9–12.
In a postapocalypse America, Sarah Jac and James harvest maguey in the desert, hiding their love and scamming other workers. On a cursed ranch, their lives become entangled with the fates of two sisters. A gripping, fable-like story infused with southwestern folklore and magic realism.
American Street. By Ibi Zoboi. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062473042). Gr. 9–12.
After her mother is detained at the U.S. border, Haitian teen Fabiola Toussaint must continue without her—but her new Detroit neighborhood is every bit as dangerous as the one she left behind. Intertwining mysticism and love with grit and violence, Zoboi forges a fierce, beautiful powerhouse of a debut. (Top of the List winner—Youth Fiction.)
La Belle Sauvage. By Philip Pullman. Knopf, $22.99 (9780375815300). Gr. 7–12.
Enthusiasts of Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, which began with The Golden Compass (1996), have been hoping for a return to Lyra Belacqua’s world, and this doesn’t disappoint. Lyra is a baby here, protected by 11-year-old Malcolm from dark forces already swirling around her. Pullman’s talent for world building has not diminished in the least.
Bull. By David Elliott. HMH, $17.99 (9780544610606). Gr. 9–12.
This striking reexamination of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur focuses on future Minotaur Asterion and the women in his family. Rotating first-person narrations appear in a variety of poetic forms: Asterion’s childlike rhymes, Ariadne’s flowery slant rhyme, narrator Poseidon’s irreverent rap. Effective for classrooms and pleasure reading.
Camp So-and-So. By Mary McCoy. Carolrhoda/Lab, $18.99 (9781512415971). Gr. 8–11.
All the world’s a stage in this compendium of horror and fantasy tropes, set at an Appalachian summer camp for girls. Divided into five cabins, the girls find themselves in bizarre, dangerous situations that eventually intersect. A crafty and, yes, campy novel that plays with familiar themes before subverting them.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. By Mackenzi Lee. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $17.99 (9780062382801). Gr. 9–12.
Henry Montague, the bisexual, thoroughly debauched son of an eighteenth-century lord, prepares for his grand tour of Europe alongside Percy, his best friend and unrequited love, and Felicity, his practical, science-inclined younger sister. A modern-minded (but no less swashbuckling) historical adventure-romance.
The Hate U Give. By Angie Thomas. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062498533). Gr. 9–12.
Starr’s bifurcated life—living in a poor neighborhood and going to a tony school—changes dramatically when she’s the only witness to the unprovoked police shooting of her unarmed friend. A searing indictment of injustice and a clear-eyed, dramatic examination of the complexities of race in America.
Landscape with Invisible Hand. By M. T. Anderson. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763687892). Gr. 9–12.
The vuvv, a coffee-table-shaped alien race, has overtaken the universe. And though they promised to quell human suffering with advanced technology, things aren’t panning out as planned for sarcastic artist Adam Costello. An elegant, biting, and hilarious social satire that will appeal to dissatisfied, worried readers of all ages.
Little & Lion. By Brandy Colbert. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316349000). Gr. 9–12.
Suzette’s examining her own burgeoning bisexuality while fretting over her stepbrother’s spiraling bipolar disorder in Colbert’s superbly written, profoundly moving novel, which explores the intersections of race, religion, sexuality, and mental illness in perfect balance with romance and the languid freedom of summer.
The Murderer’s Ape. By Jakob Wegelius. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Peter Graves. Delacorte, $17.99 (9781101931752). Gr. 6–9.
Sally Jones, an engineer and a gorilla, accompanies her companion, the Chief, on many sea voyages until the Chief is imprisoned for murder. Sally begins an epic journey: from Lisbon, she travels as far as India in search of clues in this richly imagined, thoroughly unique tale.
Neighborhood Girls. By Jessie Ann Foley. HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780062571854). Gr. 9–12.
When Chicagoan Wendy’s father, a crooked cop, is given a 17-year prison sentence, Wendy faces life as the daughter of a hated man and protects herself by falling in with her Catholic school’s notorious mean-girl clique. A heartbreakingly modern representation of Chicago, propelled by Wendy’s singular, matter-of-fact voice.
Odd and True. By Cat Winters. Abrams/Amulet, $17.99 (9781419723100). Gr. 9–12.
Fueled by legends of monster hunters in their family, sisters Od and Tru travel across the country to track down the Leeds Devil. As Winters peels back layers of the sisters’ pasts in this bewitching, horror-tinged historical novel, the truth tantalizingly emerges, and it’s scarier than any monster.
Soldier Boy. By Keely Hutton. Farrar, $17.99 (9780374305635). Gr. 8–12.
Captured by the Lord’s Resistance Army at 14, Ricky Richard Anywar went on to found the internationally acclaimed organization Friends of Orphans. Here Hutton intertwines Ricky’s tale with that of fictional Ugandan boy Samuel. Equal parts visceral indictment of inhumanity and celebration of empathy, this is an unforgettable, searing debut.
Sophie Someone. By Hayley Long. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763689957). Gr. 6–9.
Using a language of her own, 14-year-old Sophie endeavors to come to terms with her parents’ murky past. Long weaves an inventively written story filled with revelations, good intentions, poor decisions, meaningful friendships, and complicated but loving family relationships.
Strange the Dreamer. By Laini Taylor. Little, Brown, $18.99 (9780316341684). Gr. 9–12.
Librarian Lazlo Strange dreams of the mythical city of Weep, a fascination that comes to a head when he meets a group of warriors from that very place. Weep, though, reels from the aftermath of a brutal war and shelters a girl named Sarai, her companions, and their devastating secrets.
They Both Die at the End. By Adam Silvera. HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780062457790). Gr. 9–12.
In a tautly written story set in the near future, certain citizens are forewarned each night that they will die tomorrow. Two lonely teenagers receive the call and spend their last day together. As the minutes tick away, their urgent awareness of life, not death, makes this an unforgettable novel.
Turtles All the Way Down. By John Green. Dutton, $19.99 (9780525555360). Gr. 9–12.
In Green’s long-awaited book, Aza struggles with OCD plagued by her “intrusives,” thoughts that take over her mind, making her feel that she is not the author of her own life. With its attention to ideas and Green’s trademark introspection, this is a challenging but richly rewarding read.
We Are Okay. By Nina LaCour. Dutton, $17.99 (9780525425892). Gr. 9–12.
During Marin’s college winter break, Mabel flies cross-country to help her friend deal with her grief. Marin is afraid that Mabel regrets the physical intimacy that had grown between them earlier, but Mabel surprises her in more ways than one. A captivating depiction of loss, bewilderment, and emotional paralysis.
Who Killed Christopher Goodman? By Allan Wolf. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763656133). Gr. 9–12.
In a chorus of six vivid, distinct voices, Wolf traces the intersecting threads that led both directly and indirectly to the murder of beloved outsider Christopher Goodman in 1979. Dynamic, multifaceted characters; gripping tension; and moving depictions of grief make this utterly captivating.
Wild Beauty. By Anna-Marie McLemore. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (9781250124555). Gr. 9–12.
On the vengeful grounds of La Pradera, magnificent gardens at the outskirts of town, the Nomeolvides women grapple with a shared love interest and the enigmatic arrival of a boy bearing scars. This is not only a powerful exploration of truth and family but gender identity, sexuality, and love itself. Sheer magic.
Almost Paradise. By Corabel Shofner. Farrar, $16.99 (9780374303785). Gr. 5–7.
Twelve-year-old Ruby’s life has taken a tumble. Her mother is in jail, and Ruby must live on a peach farm with her aunt, an Episcopalian nun. This out-of-the-box setup becomes a ring within which a set of unique characters wrestles, reversing many long-held and heartfelt beliefs along the way.
Beyond the Bright Sea. By Lauren Wolk. Dutton, $16.99 (9781101994856). Gr. 4–7.
Crow was a baby when she drifted to the shore of an island off Massachusetts. Now a 12-year-old, Crow becomes curious about her origins following a fire on the now supposedly vacant Penikese Island. Wolk skillfully mines the terror the ocean can unleash as a furious nor’easter closes in.
The Empty Grave. By Jonathan Stroud. Illus. by Kate Adams. Disney/Hyperion, $16.99 (9781484778722). Gr. 5–8.
In the fifth and final volume in the Lockwood & Co. series, terrifying specters and destructive human thugs threaten Lockwood’s team of young psychic detectives as they uncover the source of the mystery that has terrorized London for half a century. A first-rate adventure story, full of memorable, original characters.
The Goat. By Anne Fleming. Groundwood, $14.95 (9781554989164). Gr. 4–7.
In an offbeat celebration of courage and individuality, Fleming cleverly unites the tenants of a small Manhattan apartment building as they try to determine whether a mountain goat is living on the building’s rooftop.
Slider. By Pete Hautman. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763690700). Gr. 5–8.
After an online bid gone wrong, David owes his unsuspecting mother $2,000. To repay it, he enters the Super Pigorino Bowl, a local eating contest with a whopping grand prize. Gracefully interweaving crystalline prose, delectable detail, rip-roaring humor, and larger-than-life characters, Hautman’s infectious tale is a thing to be savored.
Town Is by the Sea. By Joanne Schwartz. Illus. by Sydney Smith. Groundwood, $19.95 (9781554988716). Gr. 1–4.
A young boy describes a day in his seaside town, with the light shining on the sea in sharp contrast to the darkness of the coal mine where his father works. Melancholy permeates Schwartz’s words and, especially, Smith’s warm, black-inked paintings. Hauntingly beautiful.
Train I Ride. By Paul Mosier. Harper, $16.99 (9780062455734). Gr. 5–7.
Almost 13 when her railway journey begins, Rydr is an initially enigmatic narrator whose story becomes more absorbing as events and relationships elicit memories from her past. Although there’s sorrow in Rydr’s background, her way forward is brightly lit by insight and hope. An uncommonly involving first novel.
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid. By Colin Meloy. Illus. by Carson Ellis. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062342454). Gr. 5–8.
Meloy churns out an old-fashioned caper in this clever tale, where Charlie—the lonely son of a diplomat—finds acceptance with a skilled gang of child pickpockets in Marseille, France. Pickpocket argot and Ellis’ illustrations are icing on the cake.
Wishtree. By Katherine Applegate. Illus. by Charles Santoso. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (9781250043221). Gr. 4–7.
When Red, a century-old oak tree, has the word leave scrawled into her trunk—a threat to a Muslim family—she and the neighborhood animals decide to take action. Timely, necessary, and brimming with heart.
Accident! By Andrea Tsurumi. Illus. by the author. HMH, $17.99 (9780544944800). PreS–Gr. 1.
When Lola the armadillo makes a mess, she decides to run away. But on her way, she encounters a menagerie of animals in similar binds. Pages jam-packed with riotous, escalating animal mayhem are a joy to pore over, and a gentle reminder about mistakes is the perfect conclusion.
Bertolt. By Jacques Goldstyn. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Enchanted Lion, $15.95 (9781592702299). K–Gr. 3.
A self-proclaimed loner, Goldstyn’s unnamed narrator does have one friend: Bertolt, an ancient oak tree. But when Bertolt fails to bloom one spring, the boy must ponder the tree’s elusive end—and, more important, how to properly commemorate him. An imaginative, introspective, and quietly profound paean to life’s little wonders.
Colette’s Lost Pet. By Isabelle Arsenault. Illus. by the author. Random, $17.99 (9780553536591). K–Gr. 2.
Colette’s little fib about her missing pet grows to gargantuan size as more neighborhood kids get involved, but her new friends happily play along with her imaginative game. Arsenault’s smudgy panels of kids and one increasingly huge parakeet are a warm, beautiful vehicle for this charming story.
A Different Pond. By Bao Phi. Illus. by Thi Bui. Capstone, $15.95 (9781623708030). K–Gr. 3.
A predawn fishing trip becomes an opportunity for a boy to learn about his Vietnamese father’s past and appreciate his resourcefulness in this gorgeously illustrated, deeply evocative free-verse poem. A moving story that will resonate with any family that has faced struggle.
A Greyhound, a Groundhog. By Emily Jenkins. Illus. by Chris Appelhans. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9780553498059). PreS–K.
With tantalizing wordplay, Jenkins crafts a simple but energetic story about a greyhound and groundhog’s friendship. Ideal for prereaders, this heartwarming read-aloud shows the pair cavorting around the pages, their joie de vivre perfectly captured in dynamic watercolor-and-pencil illustrations.
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors. By Drew Daywalt. Illus. by Adam Rex. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062438898). PreS–Gr. 1.
Purely absurd, sidesplitting humor is the name of the game in this uproarious origin story of Rock Paper Scissors. Rex’s lush images of inanimate objects with hammy, expressive faces hilariously animates Daywalt’s over-the-top story of the determined warriors. Kids will gobble this up.
On a Magical Do-Nothing Day. By Beatrice Alemagna. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Jill Davis. Harper, $17.99 (9780062657602). K–Gr. 2.
In French author-illustrator Alemagna’s inspired tale, one child’s weekend transforms from dreary to delightful with the appearance of four large snails and an enchanting forest. Blending rain-streaked mixed-media illustrations and subtle wax-pencil doodles, Alemagna conjures true magic in the simple but transformative act of experiencing nature.
Where’s Rodney? By Carmen Bogan. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Yosemite Conservancy, $16.99 (9781930238732). K–Gr. 3.
On a school field trip to a majestic park, Rodney finds places to run and call loudly as well as reasons to climb slowly and watch quietly. Expressive lines of text and softly lit paintings portray a high-energy city kid and his transcendent encounter with nature.
Wolf in the Snow. By Matthew Cordell. Illus. by the author. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (9781250076366). PreS–Gr. 1.
In this nearly wordless picture book, a young girl in a red coat becomes lost in a snowstorm, as does a wolf cub. A chance encounter leads to a moment of solidarity as the two struggle home. Minimal text relays only sound, while wintry ink-and-watercolor illustrations will bring surprising warmth.
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse. By Mac Barnett. Illus. by Jon Klassen. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763677541). PreS–Gr. 2.
Gobbled up by a passing wolf, a mouse is surprised to find the wolf’s stomach cozily furnished and home to a duck. The two animals hit it off, but their impromptu dance party triggers unexpected (and hysterical) results.
Wolfie & Fly. By Cary Fagan. Illus. by Zoe Si. Tundra, $14.99 (9781101918203). Gr. 1–3.
A living-room craft session takes on new depth when Renata’s neighbor Fly bursts onto the scene. This early chapter book brims with personality as the curmudgeonly, science-minded Renata opens herself up to new experiences and the transformative power of imagination.
Yo Soy Muslim. By Mark Gonzales. Illus. by Mehrdokht Amini. Simon & Schuster/Salaam Reads, $17.99 (9781481489362). PreS–Gr. 2.
Framed as a letter from a father to his daughter, this joyful, reverent book invites readers into a sacred space. In an exquisite, poetic text illustrated with joyous, boisterous art, this both asks and answers questions about faith and family.
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